So you’re starting university – you’ve left college and you’re ready to move out, finish your education, and enjoy independence. Exciting, isn’t it?
You’re about to enter a whole new world, meet people from every walk of life, and start your journey into fully fledged adulthood and independence.
Before you go, though, there are few things you might want to do. Some of them will help make sure you know the area before you arrive on the first day. Others will mean you’ll have someone to talk to from the minute you arrive. You don’t have to do all of them. You can complete ignore this whole list and just turn up if you really want to. Or you can try each and every one of them…
We’ll leave it up to you.
Find friends before you go
Okay, so you haven’t actually started university yet – so how are you supposed to meet people?
The internet of course!
Head onto Facebook and join groups related to the university you’re going to. More often than not you can find a group dedicated to people who are about to start the university. Join these groups and start networking.
Ask people what course they’re on, which halls they’re staying in, and where they’re from. If you really hit it off with some of them online, arrange to meet up on the first night for a few drinks. Having someone you have already spoken to there can help alleviate any homesickness and guarantees you won’t spend the first night sat in your halls alone.
Don’t just scour social media either. Forums like this one: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forum.php have threads for certain uni’s allowing you to find fresher’s just like yourself. They’re packed with advice too, including everything from how to budget to the best way to clean sick from your hall toilets.
You’ve probably heard all about fresher’s flu – but don’t take it for granted. It isn’t a myth. You’re going to be mingling with new people, up at all hours of the day, and going non-stop all week. And that can make you ill quickly. Not to mention later in the year when you’re stressed with work, or just bogged down with a cold!
Sign up with a local doctor. Your university should have one on campus for all students – contact the university and ask for all the relevant details before you arrive. Falling ill and having nowhere to turn is a nightmare situation and can really set you back.
You want to remain fighting fit throughout the semester so you can attend all the socials and stay on top of you workload.
You’re moving to a new city – one that you probably don’t know so well. Make sure that you have some local taxi numbers stored in your phone. That way, you and your new friends can jump in a cab and explore your new home together!
Yes, you’re going to have to start doing the weekly shop and cooking yourself. Daunting. Make sure that you find out where the nearest supermarket is. You’re going to be tempted to visit the student shop and pick up some microwave meals and other unhealthy snacks for the first month, which isn’t good.
Make a shopping list, hit the local supermarket, and grab everything you need before you move in. A good hearty meal will help ensure that you stay fuelled and healthy for the busy week you’re about to endure.
Set up two bank accounts
This is pretty important if you want to budget your time at uni properly. Set up two bank accounts. Keep your loan in one and figure out a weekly spending budget. At the start of each week transfer your designated budget into the other account. This way you’ll be much less likely to overspend and blow your entire loan two weeks into your first semester.
Know that a lot of it is luck
More often than not, the people you find yourself living within halls will dictate the kinds of societies and extracurricular work you do, the types of bars you go to, the other friends you make, and who you live within the second year. And you don’t choose who you live with in halls.
So make sure you take the time to get to know everyone.
If at all possible, pay the campus a visit before you start and have a walk around. Your first day is going to be a scary one and you’ll have a lot of queuing and signing up for lectures to do.
The better you know the campus, the less chance you have of getting lost!
It’s okay to be terrified
You’re moving, most likely, to an entirely new city. Where you don’t know anyone. Where you’ll have to fend for yourself, manage your finances, and eat awful meals that you can’t cook. It’s okay to be scared. We guarantee that everyone else around you is terrified too.
It’ll take a while to settle in and that’s okay. Just don’t let your fear ruin your fun or your ability to make new friends.
Have you graduated and know of something else freshers should do before they arrive at uni?
Let us know. We’d love to hear from you!